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Gülen-linked teacher detained in Bosnia, waiting to be deported

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The local police in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday detained for deportation a Turkish national with permanent residency upon a request from Ankara on allegations of membership of the faith-based Gülen movement, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Fatih Keskin, the principal of Una-Sana College, an institute operating within the Gülen-affiliated Richmond Park Schools Group, was invited to a police station in Bihać city by the Ministry of Interior of the Una-Sana Canton, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing local media.

Soon after being taken into custody, Keskin was transferred to a detention center for migrants in the capital city of Sarajevo to start the deportation process, Anadolu said.

The move came hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted at new operations to capture Gülenists living in Europe before he left for London to attend a summit.

Ankara accuses Fethullah Gülen, a US-based cleric in a self-exile, of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, a claim that is strongly denied by the movement.

The foreign affairs department of the Bihac Ministry of Security revoked the residency permits of four Turkish nationals in September, following the Turkish government’s extradition request according to Anadolu. The case was then taken to a local court.

Keskin’s lawyer, Nedim Ademovic, confirmed that his client, who has been living in the country for more than 14 years with his family, was detained by the Bosnian authorities.

Keskin told Bold on the phone that he was being kept in a detention center in Sarajevo where refugees are held for deportation.

“I was invited to the police station at around 10 a.m. in Bihac and was told I had violated the rules in Bosnia; hence my residency was revoked. When I asked which rules I had violated, the officers said they did not even know,” Keskin said.

He said two police officers transported him to Sarajevo, refusing to show any official documentation and denying him time to meet with his lawyer.

“They did not let me call my lawyer. ‘If you resist, we will handcuff you,’ the two police officers told me.”

In March 2018 Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) with the cooperation of Kosovar authorities detained six Turkish nationals, who were then taken to Turkey, where they were arrested.

As of March 2019, a total of 107 people with alleged links to the movement have been brought to Turkey since the failed 2016 coup, following extradition requests for 504 people sent to 91 countries, Anadolu reported.

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